Education: No Longer a One-Size-Fits-All Model at Bloc

The top companies of our time are ones that looked at current systems and decided this isn’t enough. These companies didn’t alter the framework or add new features–they changed the rules of the game. In a world where we glorify this kind of innovation, one might wonder how we are stuck with the century-old lecture model at most U.S. universities?

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Out with the Old
There is a growing concern that the traditional education model is losing its practical application. Students earn their degrees to fill, what they feel is, a necessary space on their resume in order to get a decent job. Often times this means spending four years (and an exorbitant amount of money) to be left underprepared for the job market. A study done by McGraw Hill Education concluded that only 40 percent of college seniors feel their experience has been very helpful in preparing them for a career.   

Millennials are amongst the loudest voices calling out higher education and the government for refusing to reinvent the outdated system. Today’s students look up to contemporary icons like Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Spiegel, yearning to think outside of the box, all the while learning at the pace of the slowest person in their class.

This is why Bloc chose to drive forward the evolution of online education. As such an essential part of personal and professional growth, we believe students should feel empowered by their learning experiences.

Refusing to Settle
Bloc is the result of our CTO and co-founder Dave Paola’s deep dissatisfaction with the current K-12 and higher education institutions. Starting at a young age, Dave’s intrinsic curiosity ignited a lifelong exploration into the world of technology and innovation. Through learning independently, he found himself mastering computer systems by high school. Yet in this time and throughout college, Dave’s individual endeavors were stifled by the traditional classroom setting. While his peers were being taught to chase grades rather than an understanding, Dave found a deeper, much more effective setting, in working with experienced individuals in an informal, quasi-mentorship environment. Since finding this empowered learning space, Dave has made it his mission to make this teaching structure accessible to all willing to put in the hard work.

This frustration was also the starting point for another company, acquired by Bloc, called DevBridge. Its founder, now a current Bloc team member, Courtland Alves has a similar story behind what inspired his business. While pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley, Courtland was researching the skills necessary to work in the field as a software engineer. He then realized that the work he was doing in the classroom was not properly equipping him for this role. He started questioning the process that the school system was taking him through and decided to start seeking out the skills he would need on his own. From there he made it his mission to properly train students for the careers that would await them after college and as a result he made a business designed around outcomes. Through building DevBridge, Courtland focused his efforts on student advocacy by properly preparing them for a career in web or software development.

Our Leadership Team knows firsthand what it’s like to be treated as a number and crunched into an average rather than being empowered to be autonomous. Their lifelong dissatisfaction of the lack of inventiveness in the education system has been the driving force for the success of Bloc.

Welcome to the New School
In today’s skills-based economy, your portfolio is far more valuable than a piece of paper and a tassel. This is why Bloc focuses on real-world experience and project-based learning as integral parts of our curriculum. Bloc’s programs are not designed to help you get your feet wet, but to have you dive into the deep end and come out a high-performer and a self starter. We know that with the right amount of grit and determination, our students will be successful in discovering their inner designer or developer.

Our one-on-one mentorship structure defies any one-size-fits-all standard, and turns learning into an experience. Working closely with experts in the field has helped students learn the material deeper and at a faster rate.

Schooling (especially higher education) has often been looked at as something students undergo just because they feel they have to. This time, do it for you. Join a program at Bloc and experience comprehensive learning and understanding from people who believe in your potential and are invested in your individual success.

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